Charlie Corbeil

Posted by CindyLee

We are saddened by the passing of one of the friends of the Viera Wetlands - Charlie Corbeil - who passed away on November 5th.  He was one of the founding members of the Friends of Viera Wetlands.  Charlie will be remembered for his amazing photography and his tireless enthusiasm for the creatures of the wetlands.  Charlie always knew where the birds were, and knew which ones had chicks in the nest.  He was always eager to share the beauty with everyone he met.
Rest in Peace, Charlie.  Your spirit and your memory will always be with us in the Wetlands.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on road to Moccasin Island/River Lakes area

Posted by Jay W.

When you visit Viera Wetlands, next door areas of interest include the Click Ponds and the road out to Moccasin Island/River Lakes area. Recently spotted along that road is this gorgeous Scissor-tailed Flycatcher:

eBird Hot Spot Explorer shows quality of Viera Wetlands

Posted by Jay W.

The new Hot Spot Explorer feature at eBird.org highlights the diversity of species at Viera Wetlands. The site ranks #3 in reported species in Brevard County, behind two Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge locations (which have a wider degree of habitats). Note that 20% more checklists have been submitted for Viera than either of the Merritt Island locations. More about eBird.

Roads and Donations

Posted by Rosemary Webb



The Wood Storks were hiding in Cell 1.
The Wetlands gave us a beautiful day today, even though the wind was whipping up and the Wood Storks were hiding out in Cell 1. It looks like there’s going to be a cold first day for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival.
 
When you visit us, you’ll notice that we added a new Donations box and kiosk near the parking lot. This is to support our effort to earn enough funds to complete the re-grading of the rest of the roads, so they can be open more often.
 
The new kiosk and donation box. Help the otter reach its pond!
More often?
If the roads along the back parts are dry, AND rain is not predicted, AND nothing else prevents it – someone will open those back roads no later than mid-morning on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from now through April 15. (Specifically, December 15 through April 15, and each day of the Space Coast Birding Festival.) 
Why the two different opening times? Because the two portions of roads are in different states of repair: A little bit of water won’t hurt the roads that were re-crowned. We didn’t really widen the roads, we simply took all the dirt, gravel, and so on that was there, ground it all up, tamped it down, and made the middle of the road the highest part. Water runs off nicely now, and (using the entire width of the existing road) there is plenty of room for even two vans to pass comfortably most of the way around.
The back roads, now – those we only had the funds to scrape, and put a tilt to the roadbed so the water could drain away. A small amount of water on the back roads, when squished by a half dozen cars, could cause significant damage in an afternoon. So, the front half and the back half will open and close separately on the days the back roads are scheduled to be open. We’ll open the roads as soon as we can, but sometimes unforeseen circumstances crop up. [Yes, we are well aware how many people want to drive the back loops. We promise, if we’re not out early, we’ll get there as SOON as the flat tire gets fixed…]
So, come visit us, and see what each day brings at the Wetlands – 1000+ Tree Swallows, all trying to eat the wax myrtle berries from the same 3’ bush; Hooded Mergansers doing their courtship dance; American Bitterns booming across the grasses… Who knows?
We look forward to seeing you there!
Sunday the Tree Swallows were trying to get a few late berries, all at the same time.

 

New Year's Day, 2013

Posted by Rosemary Webb

Viera Wetlands in the early light




















New Year’s Day was a gorgeous day at the Wetlands, and many folks were there to enjoy the cool weather and the thousands of Tree Swallows.
The Bufflehead put on a show in Cell 2, but you had to be quick to catch him while he was actively hunting. He spent as much time under water as above.

  
Bufflehead

The Click ponds yielded a Bonaparte’s Gull, several Ruddy Ducks, and a Redhead, and still more Tree Swallows.

Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck


Next Meeting

Posted by R T Berry III

Friends of Viera


Our Next Meeting
Jan 8, 2013

Snacks & Chat: 5:00 PM
Meeting: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM


Building A, Room 219

Viera Government Center





Happy New Year!

Our next monthly gathering is scheduled for January 8, 2013.

Please feel free to come early for a little informal chit chat.  Light snacks and refreshments will be available from 5:00 PM.

Crested Caracara


This month, we’ll be joined by our own Chris Koeppel who will share with us his vast knowledge of, and experience with, our mascot, the Crested Caracara.  Chris is scheduled to begin speaking at 5:30 PM (sharp!)   

After the presentation, our discussion agenda will include:

  • Jan 12th Volunteer Event - Cypress Trees, Kiosk, & Donation Box
  • Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival - Ranger Duty
  • Status Reports: Webcam, Cabbage Palm Fund, 2013 Festival
  • Upcoming: Feb 2nd Volunteer Event 
In case this will be your first time joining us, we meet in a large conference room on the second floor of Building A (the northwest building) at the Viera Government Center.  The street address is

Natural Resources Management Office
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way – Building A, Room 219
Viera, FL 32940

Hope to see you there!

Road Maintenance

Posted by R T Berry III

During the last several days, road crews have been hard at work repairing the berm roads in anticipation of the winter traffic spike just around the corner.  This has required temporary closure of the wetlands (both to vehicles and pedestrians) due to safety considerations--specifically Dec 17, 18, and 19.  All road repairs are scheduled to be completed before the upcoming weekend.

Update 12/19:

The sections of road from the entrance, all around the lake, and looping around Cell 1 back to the exit should be open tomorrow, Dec 20.  These sections have been "crowned" so rains will run off them. I neglected to mention that this maintenance project totals about $15,000 (Thanks Utility Services!) mostly due to the detailed work needed crown these sections of roads.

The remaining sections (the outer-most loops to the northwest and southwest) are still being worked upon, but should be ready before the weekend.  They will not be crowned, but will instead have a gentle slope, allowing rains to "sheet flow" to the side.  Once complete, these outer-most sections will become pedestrian-only areas.


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